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AARP AARP States North Carolina Livable Communities

Take the Age My Way NC Survey

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North Carolina will soon have fewer younger residents than old. Click here to take a survey to help our state and communities better prepare.

RALEIGH – A collaborative effort between the state of North Carolina and the largest representative of older adults in the state AARP, will help our cities, towns and rural areas become better prepared to meet the needs an aging population.

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“Age My Way NC,” is surveying people 45 plus across the state to identify priorities such as safe and walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate at home in community life. Approximately 1.7 million North Carolinians are age 65 or older and that number is growing. By 2030, fully one-in-five will be older than 65 and for the first time ever, North Carolina will be comprised more of older adults than children.

The Survey

As part of this effort, the "Age My Way NC" survey is a critical tool to help the state, as well as counties, and local communities identify the most important improvements to make any place you live in the North Carolina the best it can be for all ages,” explains Mary Penny Kelley, Executive Director of Governor Roy Cooper’s rural initiative “Hometown Strong” and coordinator of the “Age My Way NC” project

With its focus on rural communities, Hometown Strong is instrumental in making sure the needs of those living outside urban areas are equally prepared. “North Carolina is a rural state, with 80 of our 100 counties being outside major metropolitan areas. Approximately 2.2 million people call rural North Carolina home,” Kelley said.

Manager of AARP North Carolina Advocacy & Livable Communities Lisa Riegel said, “Our state’s aging population has become a cause for concern. With its expected growth, the nature of urban and rural development, daily living, work, leisure, and retirement are expected to change in order to keep pace.”

Riegel adds, “When it comes to making age-friendly improvements, what is good for older adults is also good for all residents. For example, better sidewalks and making areas more walkable not only improve health and mobility, they make main street businesses more accessible, and can even increase property value. Age-friendly investments have returns for all ages.”

The “Age My Way NC” survey, available in English and Spanish, will be accessible electronically or by scanning the QR Code.

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Hard copies of the survey are available by email request to Please include a mailing address for hard copy requests.

The Survey will be open for the next 60 days and the results will be made available to local, county and state officials to help identify needed projects and developments.  In addition, the survey results and related action steps will be discussed at a statewide planning conference this fall.

Over 600 communities nationwide, including 12 in North Carolina, have already used a similar survey to access needs and identify gaps in services when it comes to developments designed to make areas more livable for everyone. In North Carolina, the cities of Archdale, Durham, Jamestown, Matthews, Mounty Airy, and the counties of Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Lenoir, Mecklenburg, Orange, and Wake have used this survey.

Take the Survey

Take a few minutes to complete the “Age My Way NC” survey, so that our policymakers will understand and focus on projects that can make North Carolina communities livable for people of all ages. Scan the QR code or visit to take the survey.

Click here to receive future information on Age My Way NC.

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The Summit

Age My Way NC Summit -- October 5
McKimmon Center, Raleigh NC
10:00 AM – 3:30 PM

9:00 – 10:00 am Networking/Coffee (video of NC Challenge Grant Recipients)

10:00 am Welcome/Introductions
• Mike Olender, AARP
• Joyce Massey-Smith, NC DHHS and Welcome Video from Secretary Kinsley

10:15 am AgeMyWayNC Initiative Intro/History/Purpose/Vision:
• Mary Penny Kelly, Governor’s Hometown Strong
• Ed Rosenberg, Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging Chair

10:40 am Presentation of Survey Results (8 Domains, Social Determinants of Health, Idea Boards, and lunch discussion tables)
• Mark Hensley and Catherine Sevier, AARP

11:00 am Healthy Aging Task Force (NCIOM) preliminary findings
• Dennis Streets, Tamara Baker and Brieanne Lyda-McDonald

11:30 am Video: Why it is important for my state – Video from other Age-Friendly States

11:45 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 1:15 pm
8 Domain Facilitated Table Discussions

1:15 pm BREAK

1:30 pm NC Age-Friendly Network (AFN) Community Panel -

• Representatives from NC AFN Communities:
Lee Covington (Forsyth County) Moderator
Mayor Don Hardy (Kinston), Janice Tyler (Dir Dept of Aging Orange Co),
Jen Teague (Buncombe Co)

2:15 pm Next Steps: Master Plan for Aging: Integration/Coordination with State Aging Services Plan and Dementia Friendly; listening sessions.
• Joyce Massey-Smith, DAAS

2:45 pm Moving Forward -
Mary Bethel, Coalition on Aging, Chair

3:30 pm Adjourn

For more on the Hometown Strong initiative please visit:

For more on Age-Friendly Communities visit:

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